Amid border row with India, Xi Jinping orders Chinese Army to respect chain of command

Chinese President Xi Jinping today demanded "absolute loyalty" from PLA's top brass, asking them to repose "firm faith" in the ruling Communist Party, guarantee a smooth chain of command and make sure all decisions are implemented.

PTI| Updated: Sep 22, 2014, 22:51 PM IST
Amid border row with India, Xi Jinping orders Chinese Army to respect chain of command

Beijing: Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday demanded "absolute loyalty" from PLA's top brass, asking them to repose "firm faith" in the ruling Communist Party, guarantee a smooth chain of command and make sure all decisions are implemented.

"Headquarters of PLA forces must have absolute loyalty and firm faith in the Communist Party of China, guarantee a smooth chain of command and make sure all decisions from the central leadership are fully implemented," said Xi, chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC) and the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

"Headquarters of all People's Liberation Army (PLA) forces should improve their combat readiness and sharpen their ability to win a regional war in the age of information technology," Xi, who returned from India last week after a three-day visit, was quoted as saying by the state-run Xinhua news agency.

All PLA forces should follow the instructions of President Xi and update their operations to meet new goals and missions set by the CMC, an official statement said.

It is not yet clear why the emphasis was made on absolute loyalty and to follow the orders to ensure smooth chain of command.

Xi's directives come in the midst of a standoff between the PLA and Indian troops in Chumar area in Ladakh region along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

The standoff took a new turn yesterday with the PLA pitching seven tents well within the Indian territory and showing no signs of withdrawing from the territory.

Xi, 61, acquired the image of China's most powerful leader after Deng Xiaoping, who succeeded Mao, as he headed the Presidency, the CPC and the military from day one of coming to power unlike his predecessor Hu Jintao.

Since then, Xi has reshuffled the military postings of the generals loyal to him at the top and removed and prosecuted some top PLA generals for corruption.

Yesterday, General Fang Fenghui, PLA chief, said in a statement that all PLA forces follow the instructions of President Xi who is also the chairman of the CMC, which is the overall high command of the Chinese military.

Fang said the forces should update their operations to meet new goals and missions set by the CMC.

Meanwhile, the PLA chiefs of staff met in Beijing to discuss how to improve the efficiency of military command under new circumstances. Fang attended the meeting.

Military commanders should have a better understanding of international and domestic security situations as well as the latest military development, Xi said.

They should also strictly discipline themselves and the armies as well as contribute to the reform of national defence, he said.

At Sunday's meeting, PLA chiefs of staff focused on streamlining the operational headquarters of all PLA forces with information technology and revised several important protocols, according to a statement.